This summer, Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer take on a multi-sport expedition, exploring the stunning mountains, rivers and cliffs of the remote coast of Baffin Island. In the early stages of the expedition, McNair-Landry and Boomer will travel mostly by kite-skiing and skiing, switching to climbing once the snow and ice are gone. Once the sea ice has entirely melted, McNair-Landry will switch to kayak for the remainder of the summer.
With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift, the team is heading out in late June/early July. Their trip was partially funded through an RCGS Major Grant for 2021.
Here’s an update from McNair-Landry as they get ready to leave:
Several years ago, Erik Boomer and I spent 120 days dog sledding around Baffin Island. As we traveled along the east coast of the island, we were in awe of the stunning landscapes. But with huge distances to cover — we had no time to stop and explore the fiords and mountains. Ever since we have been dreaming about heading back with our kayaks, climbing gear, and the time to travel the area and take advantage of the un-paddled rivers, mountains and stunning cliff faces. So, with the uncertainty of COVID-19 travel restrictions around the world, Erik Boomer and I planned our upcoming summer expedition a little closer to home (we live on southern Baffin Island).
From the small community of Clyde River, we will head south hauling our kayaks loaded up with 45 days of food, climbing gear and kayaking gear. The plan is to access the area by ski before the sea ice is melted. Once we reach Inugsuin Fiord we will set up our climbing base camp — and climb some of the spectacular peaks and cliffs in the surrounding area.
After several weeks climbing — the rivers will be flowing, and we will then head out for multi-week loop, portaging our kayaks over glaciers and mountain passes to access and paddle the first decent of several white-water rivers. Our final challenge will be to paddle back north to community Clyde River. As we near our departure date, we are busy finalizing our food and gear — carefully packing to be as light as possible. We continue to research our route, mostly via satellite images and can’t wait to head out soon!